Canucks ownership to operate Seattle-based Call of Duty esports team

Francesco Aquilini, owner of the Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey team, talks on a phone in Seattle following a news conference, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

Canucks Sports & Entertainment is expanding its reach into esports.

The Vancouver Canucks ownership group announced on Friday it will be joining the forthcoming franchised Call of Duty esports league that’s set to begin operation in 2020.

However, unlike CSE’s other esports franchise, the Vancouver Titans of the Overwatch League, this new Call of Duty team will operate out of Seattle.

“We saw the opportunity to expand our esports portfolio and continue to build a world-class organization within esports,” Anthony Muraco, director of business operations for CSE’s new Call of Duty team, told Sportsnet. “The in-depth analytics that we’ve been shown into fan data shows esports wanting to be available in Seattle and we saw it as a great opportunity to captivate the Pacific Northwest.”

Details are light at the moment in regards to an actual team roster and management staff but, like with the Titans, CSE will be partnering with Toronto-based esports organization Luminosity Gaming to help with the operational and team-building side of the franchise.

“Working in partnership with the Aquilini Group and Canucks Sports & Entertainment, we will build a competitive, first-class team that esports fans in the Pacific Northwest will be proud of,” said Luminosity CEO Steve Maida in a statement.

The partnership between Luminosity and CSE has worked out well thus far as it was Maida’s team that helped put together the Titans roster that could be crowned 2019 Overwatch League champions by the end of this month.

The forthcoming Call of Duty league, like the Overwatch League, will be run by Activision Blizzard, which publishes the popular Call of Duty franchise of games. The league is expected to run with a home-and-away schedule like you see in traditional sports.


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